Rule of Law Washed Away in the Landslide of “Human Rights”
Global jurists propose human rights as the new foundation for criminal law, and attack the West's crumbling foundations.
Rule of Law Washed Away in the Landslide of “Human Rights”
On International Women’s Day, the United Nations published principles to limit the use of criminal law for a variety of social concerns. The document, Human Rights-Based Approach to Criminal Law Proscribing Conduct Associated with Sex, Reproduction, Drug Use, HIV, Homelessness and Poverty, though rhetorically bland, is piercing in its intention. The UN and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) propose a novel philosophical foundation to define the appropriate use of criminal law in civic society, that being the paradigm of human rights. On its face, human rights as a premise for defining criminal law seems valid when one considers alternatives which may include: state supremacy, corporate interests, or national imperialism. However, human rights ought first be recognized as product, not a source of rightly ordered law. When evolving human rights precede the law’s construction, societal chaos and death follow.
According to UNAIDS.org, the principles were produced by the ICJ and were derived through five years of collaboration and deliberation by “experts and stakeholders” and specifically “focused on the impact of criminal laws proscribing sexual and reproductive health and rights, consensual sexual activity, gender identity, gender expression, HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission, drug use and the possession of drugs for personal use.”1 Inspecting judge Edwin Cameron, (a “proudly gay man”) calls the report “a timely intervention addressing the detrimental human rights impact of criminal laws targeting vulnerable groups.”2 The aim of these principles is to unapologetically call for restriction or elimination of criminal law against any activity within the spectrum of moral issues listed in the report’s title. In the report’s forward, Cameron asserts: “criminal proscriptions may reinforce structural inequalities; they may codify discrimination, invest them with the law’s power and may foster stigma. All this may wreak terrible harm.” Setting aside poverty, illness, and homelessness, we can conclude that the ICJ seeks, among other outcomes, the destigmatization of at least abortion (murder of unborn children), pedophilia (sexual activity between minors and adults), sodomy (sexual activity between members of the same sex) by categorizing them as human rights, rather than evil deeds. That is, to remove any shame or consequence therefrom.
Relating to pregnancy and abortion, the report declares:
“No one may be held criminally liable for exercising their rights to sexual and reproductive health, such as requesting, accessing or using sexual and reproductive health facilities, services and goods, including information.”
Should any doubt arise as to the thrust of this statement, clarification follows:
“Criminal law may not in any way impair the right to: a) make and act on decisions about one’s own body, sexuality and reproduction – such as about pregnancy; contraception, including emergency contraception; comprehensive abortion care...”
In a particularly revealing clause, the jurists carefully exclude unborn children as victims of criminal behaviour
“such as alcohol or drug consumption or contracting HIV or transmitting it to the foetus while pregnant, or for their own pregnancy loss. Where the person’s conduct might also constitute an independent criminal offence, unrelated to their pregnancy, there must be no additional criminal consequences arising from any alleged harm to their pregnancy.”
Unborn children are here denied human personhood by precluding the possibility that they be counted as legal victims of real crimes. This legal principle also calls for the protection of those who commit, or assist with abortions:
“No other criminal offence, such as murder, manslaughter or any other form of unlawful homicide, may proscribe or be applied to having, aiding, assisting with, or providing an abortion.”
Edwin Cameron’s forward is hauntingly clear about the moral commitments that undergird this principle: “criminal law signals which groups are deemed worthy of protection – and which of condemnation and ostracism.”
Concerning sodomy and adultery, Principle 16 condemns any criminal proscription thereof:
“Consensual sexual conduct, irrespective of the type of sexual activity, the sex/ gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression of the people involved or their marital status, may not be criminalized in any circumstances... Consensual same-sex, as well as consensual different-sex sexual relations... whether pre-marital or extramarital – may, therefore, never be criminalized.”
Where once criminal law threatened punitive consequences for unjustified divorce, adultery, and sodomy, the ICJ now demands that all sexual deviancy, unfaithfulness, or perversions are to be welcomed and centered in our legal culture, while family covenants, and natural law is ignored and unprotected. As with the report’s stance on abortion, vulnerable children suffer most when family bonds are subverted in favor of self-referential sexual ethics.
The March Principles also broaches sexual consent with respect to minors:
“Moreover, sexual conduct involving persons below the domestically prescribed minimum age of consent to sex may be consensual in fact, if not in law. In this context, the enforcement of criminal law should reflect the rights and capacity of persons under 18 years of age to make decisions about engaging in consensual sexual conduct.”
This offers little more than a thinly veiled suggestion that minors, even children ought to be allowed to demonstrate capacity to engage in sexual activity with whomever they wish - including individuals well into mature adulthood. Practically speaking, this would dramatically diminish the crime of statutory rape with respect to a sexual encounter between adults and minors.
One needn’t venture further in the report to appreciate the full scope of cultural vision offered by the so-called global jurists and the United Nations: it is one where murdering an unborn child is regarded as morally equivalent to visiting the dentist. It is one where one’s sexual fantasies, no matter how twisted or unnatural, ought to be celebrated and protected by the state by cancelling penalties for breaking vows, shattering the family covenant, and outright ignoring the family as a biological and cultural institution. It is one where the development and innocence of children is dangerously vulnerable to exploitation, attack, and manipulation by sexual predators and pedophiles.
Understanding A Rival Worldview
To properly grasp the meaning of these principles, we need to spend a few more words examining the premises and worldview that produced them.
One: The ICJ and the UN are not merely attempting to empty the legal arsenal or bleach the public square of all ethics codes and moral standards. They very much believe in a binding, universal moral code, and the legal protection of certain forms of human conduct. Principle Two frames all legal recommendations within the harm principle, wherein “Criminal law may only proscribe conduct that inflicts or threatens substantial harm to the fundamental rights and freedoms of others or to certain fundamental public interests, namely, national security, public safety, public order, pubic health or public morals.” The report claims to have in mind the best interest of public health, order, and morals. They most certainly offer a vision for cultural cohesion, and one no less enshrined in public law than any other. They do not propose a subversive social movement, but one which rides in on the wings of the state’s sword of justice. Within this principle, abortion, sodomy, and child sexualization do not constitute a threat to public health or morals. Telling.
Two: what we share with this worldview is the admission that the state is the public mechanism for upholding justice, especially where justice is defined as the swift mediation of disputes between citizens, administration of fines, penalties, and punishments for violations of public, private, and civil law. Where we radically differ is with respect to what action and in what direction state sanctions manifest. While the traditional western expression of justice was tied to an unchanging legal code (also called “the rule of law”), wherein respect was not given to persons, but to the integrity of the law (Lady Justice wears a blindfold), what the UN proposes is “justice” which conforms to every new social change. Canadian constitutional lawyer James Kitchen describes the problem this way: "On a philosophical level if you don’t have some sort of absolute truth foundation for your laws they will be fluid... Ultimately that the law will be made in the image of whoever the lawmakers are.”3 The whole project abandons the firm foundation that “rule of law” provides to our legal framework.
At this point we must catch the subtle rhetorical play at work in the ICJ report. We should pause to ask how a report filled with debauchery and murder can reach print without being widely and coldly refuted. The secret lies in our acceptance that humans have a right to self- realization, and that therefore human rights originate within the man, rather than as coming from God, as we used to believe.
Reclaiming Upright Law Theory
Proper law theory must rest upon at least two things: an enduring respect for God’s unchanging Law, and man’s universal relationship and responsibility to that law. The principle of human rights as currently understood in our neo-pagan culture departs from the Christian framing thereof, wherein rights are given by God, and require moral responsibility in order to uphold them. For instance, the right of private property is wed to the responsibility to abstain from stealing and covetousness. The ICJ, and most western governments now define human rights as being the liberty of an individual to conduct him or herself in whatever manner satisfies or conforms to his or her self-perceived, or virtually constructed identity or desire. That is, the individual becomes a self-appointed law giver, and therefore lives with the right to exercise liberty under that law. This is idolatry of the highest order. This latter view owes its birth to the French Revolution: a marked departure from the Christian Worldview. God grants no human being the right to sin, especially as free men. Scripture reads: as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness.4 Edmund Burke puts it this way: "citizens] have a right to do justice, as between their fellows, whether their fellows are in public function or in ordinary occupation. They have a right to the fruit of their industry and to the means of making their industry fruitful. They have a right to the acquisitions of their parents, to the nourishment and improvement of their offspring, to instruction of life, and to consolation in death. Whatever each man can separately do, without trespassing on others, he has a right to do for himself... in this partnership all men have equal rights, but not to equal things."5 The Christian view of human rights are connected with responsibility, duty, property, and family. When rights are tethered to no more than individuals in isolation, without reference to God as evidenced by the 8 March principles, the result is death, pedophilia, divorce, and all other manner of evils otherwise proscribed by God’s law.
In Canada, in particular, we are already guilty of legal idolatry in the passage of bills which restrict religious speech and counseling, subvert and obscure the natural order of family, and “liberate” men and women from their bonds of responsibility to children - both born and unborn. That to say, our nation is already primed to accept this report’s recommendations, and inoculated against effective moral resistance. For readers who feel free to dismiss the ICJ report as harmless and irrelevant ivory tower musings, note the influence such reports hold over Canadian law. In many ways, the UN is to Canadian as a doctor is to a pharmacist. The UN identifies an illness (homosexuals and pregnant women feel ashamed or pressured to abstain from perversion and murder), publishes a scholarly a prescription to remove “the harms of stigma”, and progressive governments lustily and loudly legislate the findings of the so-called “experts”. This is more true in the last 10 years than ever before. In 2007, the UN proposed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to which Canada (along with New Zealand, Australia, and the United States) voted “no”. Yet, in December 2020, Canadian parliament passed Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which provides that the Government of Canada must take all measures necessary to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and must prepare and implement an action plan to achieve the objectives of the Declaration.6 We have proven more than willing to legislate and conform to the social objectives of the UN.
Here is the moral diagnosis we need: we have already fallen in the culture war, our weapons are jammed or missing, there is no clear attack plan, and widespread ambivalence about who or what our enemies are. As such, we are taking our orders and codes from Godless “experts” in the UN and ICJ. We now live in imminent danger of seeing the sexual revolution sweep up the final holdouts of our Christian culture.
While we ought to be disturbed by the vile ICJ’s 8 March Principles attempt to redefine the basis of good and evil, we ought further to consider how its underlying worldview will be vanquished. What philosophical, moral, religious, and ethical pre-commitments are sufficient to overcome those of the French Revolution’s disciples? If our faith is to mean anything in our day, we must press ourselves to go beyond the consumption of bad news, which we chalk up to “a world gone crazy”, and seek a mind trained by God’s Word to refute and resist our culture’s degradation. In case I haven’t been totally clear, the answer to this perverted madness is to reapply God’s Law, which both grants human rights, and demands human responsibility to a standard which originates outside ourselves.
1 “The 8 March Principles for a Human Rights-Based Approach To.” UN AIDS, 8 Mar. 2023, https://www.icj.org/wp-content/ uploads/2023/03/8-MARCH-Principles-FINAL-printer-version-1-MARCH-2023.pdf.
2 “The 8 March Principles for a Human Rights-Based Approach to Criminal Law Proscribing Conduct Associated with Sex, Reproduction, Drug Use, HIV, Homelessness and Poverty.” Edited by Edwin Cameron, International Commission of Jurists, 8 Mar. 2023, https://www.icj.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/8-MARCH-Principles-FINAL-printer-version-1-MARCH-2023.pdf.
3 Reaume, Jacob Reaume. Antichrist and His Ruin, https://antichristdocumentary.com/. Accessed 10 Apr. 2023.
4 American Standard Version (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995), 1 Pe 2:16.
5 Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, (Indianapolis: The Liberal Arts Press, Inc., 1955), 67.
6 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, 90965, c.14, (June 21, 2021). Retrieved from www.parl.ca
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